From Museum Gallery to Street Corner From Caravaggio to Dalí, from the Mona Lisa to The Scream

It’s hard to find a draughtsman, painter, sculptor or street artist who hasn’t followed the example of artists from earlier periods. More often than not, works of art have been (partly) inspired by other works of art, it’s safe to say. In all its diversity, street art has not only been influenced by many other art movements, but is also full of references to art. In most cases these citations are not hidden in the details, rather, they are so conspicuous that entire works of art function in and of themselves as art historic references. Sometimes it concerns a downright copy (see Caravaggio, Jan de Baen and Louise Bourgeois in the photo series below), but most of the time it’s an allusion to a famous master with a striking appearance (Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Dalí) or a famous painting (The Scream, the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper – all three of which have of course been parodied endlessly in pop culture already).

Artist Reuben Dangoor photoshops London grime MCs into old paintings that look typically British. They’re humorous anachronisms that address a serious issue; power relations between people of different backgrounds and classes, now and in the past. Had the artist not chosen celebrities of colour, his paste ups wouldn’t have been half as remarkbale and potent. “I just started to combine a few of the stereotypical views of England and old school Britishness, with these guys - I think they’re flying the flag for the U.K. in a way that’s far more relevant”, Dangoor told Complex UK.

Seriously controversial are two murals by Bonom. Not everyone in Brussels welcomes the horrifying nature of the depicted scenes. Abraham who is about to offer his son Isaac (the angel who prevents him from doing so isn’t painted on the wall) and, on the side of an apartment block right opposite a heavily used railway line, the blood-soaked body of one of the brothers De Witt, two Dutch statesmen who were lynched and dismembered by an orange mob in 1672.

Particular attention goes out also to the Outings Project initiated by Julien de Casabianca. In museums all over the world he makes high definition photographs of paintings, which he then prints on paper (either on a small or on a gigantic scale) and pastes on the streets in arbitrary places. Portrayed persons and biblical scenes are separated from their pompous frames, taken out of the secured and preservative museum galleries and exposed to the elements, exhaust fumes and sniffing dogs. Ending up somewhere along the railway track, next to a petrol station, in between waste containers or, as the cases below show, in a windswept port area in Ostend or a deserted parking lot in Stavanger – which monarch, clergyman or dignitary from the Middle Ages would have thought it? Whether or not this would have met their approval, can all too readily be guessed. And yet, not despite but because of the starkly contrasting and unfamiliar surroundings, it’s well possible that their depictions are capable of attracting more prying eyes than they would have ever done hanging on a museum wall.

In a lot of cases the original – or at least a work of art that I think shows great similarities – has been put next to the work of art found outdoors. Hover the mouse over the images for additional information.

Ostend
Ostend
Ostend
Ostend
Ostend
Ostend
Ostend
Ostend
Ostend
Oslo
Stavanger
Stavanger
Stavanger
Bergen, Norway
Bergen, Norway
Amsterdam
Lyon
Brussels
Utrecht
Utrecht
Mons
Ostend
Brussels
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Aberdeen
Brussels
Zürich
Utrecht
Arles
Amsterdam
London
Valparaíso
Utrecht
Amersfoort
Utrecht
Aberdeen
Brussels
London
Utrecht
London
Brussels
Brussels
Amsterdam
Stockholm
Brussels
Amsterdam
Brussels
Marseille
Utrecht
Lyon
Aberdeen
Wrocław
Saint Petersburg
Amsterdam
Athens
Berlin
Brussels
Gorinchem
Brussels
Eindhoven
Florence
Stavanger
Brussels
Stavanger
Florence
Florence
Paris
Drammen
Warsaw
Saint Petersburg
Ede
Marseille
Brussels
Utrecht
Utrecht & Amsterdam
Graz
Mons
Brussels
Kraków
Oslo
Bergen, Norway
Antwerp
Amsterdam
Utrecht
Utrecht
Utrecht
Utrecht
Brussels
Paris
London
Brussels
Zwolle
Berlin,
Utrecht
Amsterdam
New York
Utrecht
New York
Amsterdam
Stavanger
Brussels
Warsaw
Bergen, Norway
London
Florence
Florence
Florence
London
London
London
London
London
Copenhagen
Brussels
Florence
Copenhagen
Amsterdam
Heerlen
Heerlen
Heerlen
Ostend
Brussels
Oslo
Stavanger
Utrecht
Utrecht
Utrecht
Aberdeen
Nice
Antwerp
Rotterdam
Utrecht
Rotterdam
Breda
Marseille
Brussels